Michigan's award winning autonomous boat team

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What is UM::Autonomy?

UM::Autonomy is an award-winning student project team from the University of Michigan. Each year we build an autonomous boat to participate in the RoboNation Roboboat competition. The boat is completely designed and programmed by students and must complete a wide range of challenges that are designed to test its autonomous abilities. We aim to further the study of autonomous robotics at the University of Michigan by providing students with hands-on multidisciplinary design experience in artificial intelligence, image processing, navigation, naval architecture, and mechanical design. Each year we strive to push the physical and conceptual bounds of our autonomous vehicle.

Brief History

In 2018, we made a huge step toward returning to success. We finished 7th overall and 3rd among American Universities. We achieved 1st place in static judging in the 2019 competition and 2nd place in our team video submission for the 2020 competition.
=> Learn more about the team history

Putting boat in water

Now and the Future

This year looked towards allowing members to learn with remote opportunities and training. Our focus was to prepare our new members with knowledge for the upcoming year through various projects. For the next year, we are excited to have our new members get hands-on experience.
=> Learn more about our team projects

Top view of boat in water

Will you join us?

Each year we look for motivated, talented individuals looking to make a splash in the world of autonomous vehicles. UMA has no selection process or time commitment requirements. Next year, we will develop bite-sized projects for new members to onboard more smoothly and get a glimpse on the type of work we do. If our team and our opportunities float your boat, sign up for our mailing list , and we'll provide you with more information about our meetings! If you have any more questions, don't be afraid to reach out to us at!

Boat Specs


Name: Sea Serpent
Length: 48 in
Width: 32 in
Depth: 10 in (25.4 cm)
Draft: 4.5 in (11.4 cm)
Displacement: 62.55 lbm (28.37 kg)
Maximum thrust: 44.4 lbf (197.5 N)
Hulls material: Fiberglass Cowl material: Carbon fiber

- Intel Core i7-8700K
- Nvidia Titan RTX
- 16000mAh 22.2V LiPo Batteries
- T200 Thrusters
- Velodyne LiDAR
- ZED Stereo Cameras
- GNSS Smart Antenna GPS
- Pelican Electrical Case

- Teams: Controls | Navigation | Perception | Reasoning
- Environment: Docker-based
- Version Control: Git
- Architecture: ROS Kinetic
- Languages: C++/Python
- Architecture Diagram